When it comes to the workplace, I believe it is essential to work with people who are always open, direct and honest in their communication. When interviewing people to work for me, I can most often tell within the first 5 minutes if the working relationship will work out. It’s not how a person begins the conversation that matters, but it is how they end it that will matter the most moving forward. When was the last time you concluded a conversation or a meeting with a team member and thought, “Hmm…what now?” or “Ok, that was great! But now how do we move forward?”
Before you leave a conversation, make sure you are clear on the plan of action moving forward, especially who is doing what and by when that would get done. Making this action plan is just one of Steven Gaffney’s Nine Core Steps to Honest Communication, which I practice regularly in my own life. And if you follow these steps, I promise that you will never be left asking, “What now?”
Open and honest communication may seem to be an obvious need in today’s fast-paced world, both professionally and personally, but very few people actually practice it. Communicating openly and honestly involves thinking differently about nearly every interaction and encounter we have.
In order to get to the action part of a conversation, I recommend approaching everyone with a goal in mind. The outcome should drive the way we engage our colleagues. We must always keep in mind, “What’s in it for them?” Too many individuals get wrapped up in controlling the conversation, being defensive to suggestions, avoiding confrontations, or not even communicating in the first place at all. Personally, I cannot work that way and it is quite exhausting for everybody involved, not to mention the time and dollars wasted as a result of poor communication.
It’s only when we take ownership of our requests, appreciate our coworkers, and truly listen to what we’re being told that we can open up the channels of honest communication. I just wanted to share this post with you since it may help strengthen your teams to be more effective and productive and improve their relationships with one another. If you want to know the Nine Core Steps to Honest Communication. Scroll down and click on the image and view. Let me know if you need guidance on how to use those steps. -xo tu-anh